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Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence against the Nazis, 1941-1945 (Paperback)
  • Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence against the Nazis, 1941-1945 (Paperback)

Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence against the Nazis, 1941-1945 (Paperback)

Paperback 350 Pages / Published: 30/12/2003
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The Soviet-German War of 1941-1945 was the most extensive intelligence/counterintelligence war in modern history, involving the capture, torture, deportation, execution, and "doubling" of tens of thousands of agents-most of them Soviet citizens. While Russian armies fought furiously to defeat the Wehrmacht, Stalin's security services waged an equally ruthless secret war against Hitler's spies, as well as against the Soviet population. For the first time, Robert Stephan now combines declassified U.S. intelligence documents, captured German records, and Russian sources, including a top-secret Soviet history of its intelligence and security services, to reveal the magnitude and scope of the brutal but sophisticated Soviet counterintelligence war against Nazi Germany.

Employing as many as 150,000 trained agents across a 2,400-mile front, the Soviets neutralised the majority of the more than 40,000 German agents deployed against them. As Stephan shows, their combination of Soviet military deception operations and State Security's defeat of the Abwehr's human intelligence effort had devastating consequences for the German Army in every major battle against the Red army, including Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, the Belorussian offensive, and the Vistula-Oder operation.

Simultaneously, Soviet State Security continued to penetrate the world's major intelligence services including those of its allies, terrorise its own citizens to prevent spying, desertion, and real or perceived opposition to the regime, and run millions of informants, making the USSR a vast prison covering one sixth of the world's surface.

Stephan discusses all facets of the Soviet counterintelligence effort, including the major Soviet "radio games" used to mislead the Germans-operations Monastery, Berezino, and those that defeated Himmler's Operation Zeppelin. He also gives the most comprehensive account to date of the Abwehr's infamous agent "Max," whose organisation allegedly ran an entire network of agents inside the USSR, and reveals the reasons for Germany's catastrophic underestimation of Soviet forces by more than one million men during their 1944 summer offensive in Belorussia.

Richly detailed and epic in scope, Stalin's Secret War opens up a previously hidden dimension of World War II.

"A significant book that clearly shows the importance and vastness of the clandestine intelligence-counterintelligence war on the Eastern Front. . . . Stephan's thorough and imaginative research, and his patient analysis and interpretation of the documents and memoirs he has unearthed, set a standard that other historians working on intelligence should emulate."

-American Historical Review

"An indispensable account of this dimension of the war on the Eastern Front, and a valuable primer for all those who wish to understand how to conduct intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Needless to say this topic is of immense relevance to American forces and intelligence agencies today."


"Likely to remain the standard book on the subject for years to come. Professional historians, intelligence officers, and the public will find it a rewarding and informative read."

-Journal of Intelligence History

"A reasoned argument backed by extensive research that raises intelligence-counterintelligence studies to a more scholarly level. . . . A powerful view of Soviet counterintelligence efforts-the best we are likely to see for some time to come."

-Journal of Military History

"Stephan's thorough, accurate, and objective study provides unprecedented detail and keen insights on one of history's most illusive subjects. It is destined to become the standard work in this field."

--David M. Glantz, author of The Battle for Leningrad

"Stephan's book demonstrates how the Soviets adroitly manipulated both German intelligence and counter-intelligence in masterfully staged strategic deception operations. It chronicles timely lessons for contemporary intelligence professionals and should grace the libraries of today's intelligence services."

--John J. Dziak, author of Chekisty: A History of the KGB

"Should be read by anyone interested in the history of intelligence or of World War II."

--John Ferris, author of Intelligence in the Second World War

Publisher: University Press of Kansas
ISBN: 9780700618248
Number of pages: 350
Weight: 546 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm

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